New National ratings no better than Mansbridge’s, but CBC isn’t worried

But there’s good news on the digital front as live streaming soars 90 per cent.

From left, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing are the new hosts of CBC's The National. (NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The CBC says it’s “comfortable” with the early buzz for its revamped The National, even though the debut newscast’s ratings were only on par with the kind of numbers Peter Mansbridge used to draw.

And they’ve slipped since last Monday’s first broadcast.

On a randomly chosen Monday night in January, when Mansbridge was still anchor, The National on the main network had an estimated audience of 734,000 viewers during the first half-hour of the show, dropping to 584,000 viewers in the second half.

For the debut of the new National — now hosted by Ian Hanomansing, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton and Andrew Chang — 739,000 viewers were tuned in for the first 30 minutes on CBC, while 601,000 were still watching for the second half.

But subsequent nights saw ratings peak between the high 300,000 to low 600,000 range.

Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, says the network is “comfortable with the audience numbers and the anecdotal reaction to the program so far.”

“We anticipated that it would take time for the audience to adapt to what is a new format on television,” says McGuire, adding it’s still “early days” for the new show.

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